From jazz festivals to Winter Wonderland: Five things to do in London this weekend, November 17 to 19

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From the EFG London Jazz festival to Christmas at Kew Gardens, there’s something for everyone this weekend, November 17 to 19.

And just like that Christmas season has begun in London, with several light displays switched on and the city’s ice rinks ready for winter revellers.

From the EFG London Jazz festival to Christmas at Kew Gardens, there’s something for everyone this weekend, November 17 to 19.

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EFG London Jazz Festival 2023

Various locations: Ronnie Scott’s, Cadogan Hall, Southbank Centre Till Sunday November 19

Catch the last few days of this year's EFG London Jazz Festival, with some of the biggest names in jazz.

This weekend, look out for performances from Natalie Williams’ Soul Family at Ronnie Scott’s, a celebration of Jazz from Ireland at the Barbican and Grammy award winning Angélique Kidjo at the Royal Albert Hall.

The Christmas Cathedral is a favourite at Kew Gardens. Credit: RBG Kew, Jeff Eden.The Christmas Cathedral is a favourite at Kew Gardens. Credit: RBG Kew, Jeff Eden.
The Christmas Cathedral is a favourite at Kew Gardens. Credit: RBG Kew, Jeff Eden. | RBG Kew, Jeff Eden

Christmas at Kew Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Until January 7 2024

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Kew Gardens' world-famous grounds are once again being lit up for its annual festive light trail, with several new installations for 2023.

Returning visitors will recognise many of the favourites on-show, from the decorated trees and canopies to the Christmas Cathedral, which Kew describes as “a twinkling tunnel of light inspired by arched church windows”.

Among the new installations this year is One Small Thing, a collection of illustrations encouraging people to make a change to help protect the environment.

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Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park, W2 2UH From November 17 2023 to January 1 2024

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Winter Wonderland has returned to Hyde Park this weekend for a two month festive takeover.

The annual favourite is back for its sixteenth year in 2023 with favourites like the giant ice rink and the Magical Ice Kingdom all returning.

Little ones can get in on the fun too with the chance to venture into the dedicated Santaland and meet the man himself at Santa’s grotto.

In between all of the fun, shows and attractions, a host of thrill-seeking rides will also be available. Whether you prefer a scenic ride on the Santaland train or want to have a go on the exhilarating roller coasters there is something for everyone to have a go at.

The Red Shoes: Beyond the Mirror

BFI, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XT Till January 7 2024

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Powell and Pressburger’s cinematic classic ‘The Red Shoes’ turns 75 this year. To mark the anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale-turned-visually stunning film, the BFI is opening a free exhibition following lead actor Moira Shearer’s personal story through the production as well as casting an eye over the iconic dance film’s legacy.

The exhibition will feature the red ballet shoes featured in the film, personal items from Moira Shearer’s family estate; and costumes and props from Matthew Bourne’s recent ballet adaptation. 

Skate at Somerset House

Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA Till January 14 2024

Skate at Somerset House has returned, kicking off London’s Christmas season.

Skate around the grand neoclassical courtyard on this huge, 900-square-metre outdoor rink, with a 40ft Christmas tree in the centre.

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This year the rink will have a Swiss wintery theme thanks to Switzerland Tourism and keep an eye out for an all-new skate lounge from iconic rosé brand Whispering Angel and its legendary weekend Skate Lates.

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